3D Database Modeling

by Jungh K
The article, “3D Database Modeling”, written by S. Dixit and M. K. Singh, introduces how three dimensional visualizations can improve many aspects of designing and managing a modern database.  With the increasing sizes of our modern databases, it is becoming ever more complicated to identify errors in data flows and any other unknown issues.  The authors acknowledge that ER models and DFD, despite of their own pros and cons, are used to meet the current challenges, however; the three dimensional model described by the article can provide the unified model.  The basic structure of an entity is represented by a solid cylindrical core, whose radius and height are directly proportional to the number of columns and rows, respectively, in the table.  The top view provides similar functionality, such as showing dependencies and relations between tables, of ER diagram.  The front view provides a broader view for the entire database to compare each table with their relative sizes.  The user can interact with the three dimensional database to create custom vantage points in order to provide better understandings through visualizations.  Another advantage is that a GUI model helps tracking how data flow throughout the database to check for data integrity and other problems that may arise later on.

This article directly relates to this week’s lecture topic because the 3D database modeling provides a great insight into the relational database model through interactive visualizations.  With data become more complex and abundant, designing at the conceptual level is crucial to maintain effective and efficient databases for the future.  The 3D database modeling is especially suitable for beginners since the myriad of relationships between entities becomes very complicated given that they lack the experiences.  In addition to the ER models and DFD, I believe that the 3D database modeling is an excellent technique to learn how the relational database functions.

As database related technologies constantly evolve to accommodate bigger data, designing phase requires extensive testing in order to ensure the quality and maintainability.  When developing a database application, a poor design can cause unanticipated errors.  The errors sometimes can be buried on the myriad of relationships and require significant efforts and time to correct them.  By providing the appropriate GUI tool to inspect how data flow into the different tables, users can properly enforce the data integrity.  As far as I am concerned, I don’t think any DBMS vendors that provide the 3D database modeling tool, described by the article, however; the GUI tool allows the architecture to visualize the whole processes better.


Dixit, S., & Singh, M. K. (2011). 3D Database Modeling. ICWET ’11 Proceedings of the International Conference & Workshop on Emerging Trends in Technology, 485-489. doi: 10.1145/1980022.1980127

2 thoughts on “3D Database Modeling

  • September 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    3D modeling would definitely make understanding relations between entity’s much easier to comprehend. Hope to see this in the near future as I can already tell this early in the class that these diagrams can get out of hand and cause hard to find errors. Especially with the ever increasing growth in data. Nice article.

  • October 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Interesting article. It is the first time I’ve heard about the 3D data model. I’d like to know what are these 3 dimensions in comparison to the traditional 2D data model. Did the article provide an example?

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